In a digital world that never sleeps, it can be difficult for business owners to strike a balance between success and happiness. As soon as you set your mind to one task, five more appear. If one gets overlooked, then other balls drop.
You probably feel like it’s a zero-sum game. You either keep your business moving forward or you take time for yourself and allow your business to suffer. If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you start to put your business first and yourself second.
I used to think I could outwork my problems. In seven years I didn’t take one vacation, and soon I was approaching bankruptcy. My relationships, my health and my business were falling apart, until I learned to make time for myself and my own adventures.
Don’t let yourself get to that point. Just as you make time to meet with potential investors and answer emails, you must also prioritize “you” time. If you do this the right way, your business will flourish because you’re setting the standard of positivity and happiness for your employees, clients and stakeholders.
Here are three signs it’s time to clock out:
1. You can’t remember life without stress.
Stress can manifest itself in many ways. Maybe you feel sick, or maybe you have less patience for your friends and family. When you recognize that stress is the root of your problems, you can gradually take steps to get your personal life back on track.
2. You’re utterly unhappy.
If you spend much of your time feeling truly unhappy and unmotivated, you need to take a step back and look for solutions. One of the first should be taking more personal time.
3. You’re sick of being sick.
Poor health is a sign you aren’t taking care of yourself. During my workaholic years, I weighed 213 pounds. I had heart palpitations, high cholesterol, and was at risk for a heart attack — all at 27 years old.Clearly, something needed to change. To run a successful company, you must make yourself and your health a priority.
Once I started taking personal time, I found I wanted to work. And the more I loved what I did, the more amazing people and clients I attracted. When people want to be around you, your business grows.
Find Your Adventure
When you’re ready to ignite your own journey to live a life on fire, here’s how you can get started:
- Pencil in adventures. When you plan for your adventures, you make them a priority. Don’t have any regrets, and don’t let your dreams wait until tomorrow. Your adventure can be trying that new restaurant you haven’t had the time for, taking a weekend trip, or traveling overseas. It doesn’t matter what you decide to do, as long as the adventure is yours.
- Relish your routine. Routines help keep us consistent. The best part is that you can pick your own to suit your lifestyle and passions. You can make time for that morning stroll, end your day with a new novel or make a point of chatting with a friend over lunch. Establishing a routine that makes you happy will help you become your best self in all areas of life.
- Block out your calendar. Do you struggle to catch up on emails? Block out time on your calendar to catch up on Friday mornings so you can go into your weekend with no lingering stress.
Owning a business guarantees that your priorities are constantly changing, so having pre-planned blocks of time will help you take a step back and get your priorities in order. Just make sure one of those priorities is you.
Only you can decide which strategies work for you and your business, but if you aren’t feeling happy and fulfilled, something isn’t working. When you prioritize your personal adventures, you’ll be amazed at the energy you have to pour back into your business and how everything in your life will thrive.
Nick Unsworth is CEO of Life On Fire, a business coaching company that helps entrepreneurs and business leaders become the rock stars they are meant to be. Nick has been an entrepreneur for 11 years and was inspired to live his best life after watching those close to him struggle for money throughout his childhood. Nick has worked in several industries and bounced back from many setbacks, which inspired him to help other entrepreneurs make every day a journey worth living
Image credit: CC by Benjamin Watson